Greetings all and welcome to the innagural Weekly highlights here at Hobby Hovel!

Basically like the title suggests, this will be an on-going weekly thing to round-up the weeks figure announcements be it static figures, toys, and plamo kits. Chag and I will weigh in on these new preorders and leave behind our rusty two cents. In the coming weeks we’ll try and refine this to make it a bit more stimulating and fun, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy it!

Figures

1/8 Kurisu Makise [Kotobukiya]


Ashlotte: Koto pulled a fast one on us with this one by giving us barely any hype about her, which is a shame since she’s one of their most compelling figures yet. The intricate base, spot-on face, and excellent sculpting job in the promo shots are definitely a step-up from their usual fare. But as always with Koto, the question of whether they can get it right with the final product still remains. But if the recently released Shining Wind figures are a sign of where Koto is headed, I’m all for it!

Chag: Looks like Kotobukiya has learned that in order to stay competitive in the eyes of figure collectors, they’ve got to spice up their figures — and a spicy figure this is. Judging from the promo shots, the painting on this figure looks fabulous. The coat has a palpably soft feel, while the rust on the fancy gear-shaped display base looks very convincing as well. At last but not least, those hypnotic eyes (which reminds me of GSC’s Black Rock Shooter) complete the haunting look of the figure. This 1/8 scale figure is priced at 7800 yen, which is higher than what Kotobukiya usually asks… Can this be interpreted as a commitment to quality? Time will tell…

1/8 Sasami Sasagawae [Alter]


Ashlotte: This figure has two sculptors and wow can you sure tell it. First we have the fantastic head and hair sculpt…Long flowing beautiful rich purple tresses framing an extremely accurate to the source face.

And then we have the body, which quite frankly is a disappointment. With a pose that doesn’t really compliment her face (Her feet really should be planted on the ground at least…) and a severe lack of sculpting detail (Seriously what is with the shoes…), the whole thing just looks like a professional head sculpt slapped on a half-ass body. To add insult to injury they stripped her of her black school top, which perfectly compliments her beautiful hair color. All I can hope is the end product turns out far better then what they showed here. On top of that, Sasami is being announced along with the rerelease of the excellent Kud figure that Alter previously made.

As a Little Busters fan I can only hope that Alter tries to match the quality they set with the first figure in this series and make collecting (the hopefully complete) line worth doing!

Chag: When it comes to Sasami, nothing will top Resinya’s rendition of the character a while back. Never mind the question of quality, that “OHhohoho” pose is just so utterly priceless. Alter’s offering here is also pretty nice, as those thighs are pretty lethal. But as nice as it looks, this figure just doesn’t appeal to me personally. It doesn’t have the sheer cuteness factor of Resinya’s figure, and it doesn’t really have enough sex appeal either. Maybe if her hand is undoing her shirt ribbon… now THAT would be nice.

Toys

figma se Kirara Yuu Kawamura Uniform ver.[MAX Factory]

Ashlotte: With other figure makers turning up the heat with their own action figure lines its good to see Max still knows how to get it done best. Her adorable look paired with those domestic goddess acessories works all too well!

Chag: Accessories, accessories, accessories! With a pair of mittens, a chopstick-holding hand, cutting board, knives, pot, pan, spatula, and ladle, knowledge about the eroge se Kirara really is inconsequential to the enjoyment of this toy. Sure, the figure itself is pretty cute (especially its troubled face), but I bet a lot of people out there are going to get this figure for the kitchenware alone. When I saw this figure, I immediate thought of the mix-and-match possibilities with Figma Shirou, who is not only known for his resilience on the battlefield, but for his handiness in behind an apron as well. I wonder how clean the paint work on those tiny knives will be in the final product, but this Figma is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Bandai’s Super Robot Chogokin Mazinger Stuff

Chag: For the longest time, Kaiyodo’s Revoltech line had an iron grip on cheap super robot toys. But the Revoltech had an Achille’s heel: while it offers figures of famous super robot series such as Tetsujin 29, Getter Robo, Gurren Lagann, and Gaiking, it never did lay its paws on the big daddy of the super robot universe — Mazinger. Sure, it has Mazinkaiser and Grendizer, but they don’t really have the same stature as Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger. Well, here comes Bandai to capitalize on this weakness. Judging from the promo shots, the articulation is decent and the quality warrants the price gap between these Super Robot Chogokin figures and Revoltech figures. I’m also liking the effect parts a lot, even if you have to buy them separately.

On the side note, some Super Robot Chogokin Super Robot Wars original mechs are due for release soon (Alteisen, Cybuster and Daizenger), as well as God Raideen. These mechs have been in high demand of the action figure treatment, so it looks like Kaiyodo will have to have to watch out in the future!

Ashlotte: While I’ve never been a big fan of the super robot type (more of a “Real” type man myself) affordable chogokin figures is a very welcome sign and I can already feel my wallet groaning. With prices like that I might even be able to slot in abit of mecha with my usual girly figure orders…Very scary prospect. ~_^

Plamo

1/10 Rockman (Mega Man) [Kotobukiya]

Ashlotte: So it seems like Koto’s little pest-killer kits where a big enough hit that their further expanding the line to include good old rockman. All I can say is it’s nice to see a good piece of nostalgia not completely forgotten in the shuffle of the newest and greatest… Koto always has had a habit of randomly showing love for the oldies, and I hope they continue both with their kits and PVC!

Chag: As someone who is mind-blowingly awful at platformer games, I never got into the Megaman (Rockman) series. But Megaman’s simple design makes him a very good subject for the plamo treatment. The promo shots suggest a high level of articulation without sacrificing external aesthetics. I don’t really dig the retro-cross-eyed look, but I suppose the good ol’ blue bomber wouldn’t look any other way. 3000 yen is a pretty high asking price for 13 cm tall kit, but Kotobukiya has always been a little trying with their plamo prices, and Megaman’s undying popularity will undoubtedly yield a high return for whatever Kotobukiya paid to acquire the rights to the character.

RG (Real Grade) 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam [Bandai]

Chag: Full internal frame, extreme attention to detail, and quite possibly great articulation — all contained in a small 1:144 scale package. Looks like this new Real Grade line is going to fill in the gap between High Grade and Master Grade, offering a mechanically complex build without the need for paint touch-ups for accuracy. I’m curious as to how this new addition is going affect the long-standing balance between HG and MG kits. Personally, I’m very tempted to give this a try. Even though Bandai’s been popping out RX-78-2 kits like no tomorrow, this particular kit is unique enough to not feel like a re-hash… But I bet those who bought the 30th Anniversary edition HGUC RX-78-2 are mighty pissed right now. I wonder if the kit will come with different shades of white right out of the box as shown on the promo photos, though…

Ashlotte: High Grade levels up? Pretty impressive that Bandai the market leader that really could just sit on its ass and rake in money with little to no effort still has the drive to innovate…Almost enough to make this lazy ex-gunpla builder get back into it again…Almost. :p